A small team of former members of the Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard has been put together to respond to emergencies until a process of reinstating a fulltime service has been completed.
Last month, all the units volunteers had their membership terminated by the Department of Transport following a review of internal issues at the station.
In a statement following November’s resignations of six volunteers, an Irish Coast Guard spokesperson said they acknowledged “the divisions that have unfortunately existed within the unit for a number of years, and recognises the strenuous efforts and leadership displayed by many members of the unit, its management team in particular, and other stakeholders to address these difficulties.”
Later, experienced mediator Mr Kieran Mulvey was requested by the Department of Transport to visit Doolin and speak to the team members in an effort to find a resolution to the issues there.
Mr Mulvey’s report to the Department of Transport advised however that certain relationships within the Doolin Coast Guard Unit have irretrievably broken down and that the mutual trust, respect and confidence required to effectively operate a Coast Guard Unit does not exist within the Unit.
After Mr Mulvey completed his report, Minister of State in the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton T.D, asked the Irish Coast Guard to begin the process of reconstituting the Doolin Coast Guard.
In accordance with the recommendations of Mr Mulvey’s Report, members of the Doolin Unit were permanently stood down and volunteer’s membership terminated.
The Department of Transport confirmed that the unit would be re-constituted in the short term by temporarily appointing volunteers who Coast Guard believe can work and operate together. “This will address the situation presented by the absence of a functioning Doolin Coast Guard Unit,” the Department said.
A small team of members was later contacted and requested to make themselves available to respond to calls if required as part of the temporarily reconstituted team which is now back ‘on the board’ and available to respond to emergencies when requested.
These members include a number of people who resigned in November and a former long-serving office-in-charge at the station.
That team responded to a search today following a report that a person was seen falling from the Cliffs of Moher.
The Irish Coast Guard also confirmed in December that a broader appointment process will commence in due course with the view to permanently restoring the Coast Guard Unit in the Doolin area.